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American society is based on the idea that ‘anyone’ can reach the top. But the gap between rich and poor is growing, and the ladder seems to be disappearing.

By Joel Kotkin | NEWSWEEK
Published Jan 17, 2009
From the magazine issue dated Jan 26, 2009
[…]

This disparity is strikingly evident in income data compiled by Citigroup, which shows that the top 1 percent of U.S. households now account for as much of the nation’s total wealth—7 percent—as they did in 1913, when monopolistic business practices were the order of the day. Their net worth is now greater than that of the bottom 90 percent of the nation’s households combined. The top 20 percent of taxpayers realized nearly three quarters of all income gains from 1979 to 2000.

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